All About the Bashkir Curly Horse: Breed Profile, History, Characteristics, & Facts

A horse breed with an unknown origin, the Bashkir Curly horse can only be traced back to a single herd. This breed has a unique characteristic in that it is hypoallergenic, making it suitable for just about anyone who may suffer from allergies. Bashkir Curly horses are distinct because of their curly coats, and they are also rare and expensive to purchase. 

Bashkir Curly Horse Breed Profile

History and Origins

There is no way to know exactly where the Bashkir Curly horse breed originated from, though there are a few theories. One of the most common theories, which also is partly responsible for the breed name, is that the Bashkir Curly is a descendant of the Russian Curly, but this has been disproven. While their origin may unknown and thus one of the biggest mysteries as far as horse breeds are concerned, the development of the breed is much clearer. Dating back to 1898, a young man by the name of Peter Damele and his father became curious when they found three horses with curly coats while they were riding across the Peter Hanson mountain range. Since then, this breed has been populating the Damele range, and many of today’s Bashkir Curlies can be traced back to that herd.  

Bashkir Curly Horse Breed Statistics

Height and Weight

The Bashkir Curly horse averages to be 15 hands tall, though registries will accept horses that range from 8-19 hands tall. They can weigh from 800 to 1,200 pounds.

Color and Markings

Bashkir Curlies come in a variety of colors and sizes. The most common color you will find them in is chestnut, but they can also be gray, black, and bay. As far as markings are concerned, they are commonly found with Appaloosa and Pinto markings.


The Bashkir Curly is a hard-looking breed of horse. They have wide-set eyes which are said to give them a wide vision range. They are also known for having tough, round black hooves, straight legs with flat knees, and strong hocks. 

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Unique Characteristics of the Bashkir Curly Horse

The biggest characteristic of the Bashkir Curly breed is their curly winter coat, mane, and tail, though occasionally they can have straight hair or such extremely curly hair that their manes look like they are dreadlocked. One very unusual feature about the Bashkir Curly’s mane and tail is that they shed them out in the summer, along with the curly coat, and regrow them in the winter. Another interesting characeristic of the Bashkir Curly horse is they sometimes do not have ergots, or only have small soft chestnuts, on their legs. They also have wide set eyes, which is believed to give them a wider range of vision and is characteristic of Oriental breeds. This breed is easy to identify from the moment a foal is born, as they have curly eyelashes, thicky curly coats, and curls inside their ears.

Bashkir Curly Horse Chewing

Bashkir Curly Horse Temperament 

The Bashkir Curly horse makes a wonderful family horse due to their sweet and friendly natures. They are also easily trainable and intelligent, having the desire to do nothing more than please their rider or trainer. This makes this breed an excellent choice for anyone desiring to have a horse skilled in multiple disciplines.

Grooming the Bashkir Curly Horse

Bashkir Curly horses are not anymore difficult to maintain than other breeds. The only grooming need specific to this breed would be trimming the mane to help keep it from matting. Their coats also require special care and should be regularly groomed with a brush that has medium stiffness and a paddle brush. Like the mane, the purpose of this regular grooming is to keep the coat from also getting matted.

Nutrition for the Bashkir Curly Horse

It is recommended to give Bashkir Curly horses a diet of Timothy Hay, though they can and will eat whatever other horses eat like grain and oats. They also need constant access to fresh water, as is typical for most horses.

Common Health Issues for the Bashkir Curly Horse

There appears to be no specific health issues in relation to the Bashkir Curly horse. At one time people thought they may suffer from Cushing’s disease, which causes hair to grow unevenly and winter coats not properly shedding on time. It has been proven since then that the Bashkir Curly horse does not actually have this issue.

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Bashkir Curly Common Uses and Talents

Bashkir Curly horses are popular in a wide variety of disciplines due to their high intelligence, good memory, and easy-to-please nature. They are commonly used for western riding, jumping, reining, driving, barrel racing, and dressage. When a Bashkir Curly is gaited, they are also popularly used for gaited events.

Facts About the Bashkir Curly Horse

The Bashkir Curly horse has multiple names. They may be called North American Curly Horses, Bashkir Curlies, American Bashkir Curlies, or simply Curlies. One of the most popular and famous traits of this breed is the fact that it is hypoallergenic, proven in the fact that people who normally have allergic reactions around other horses do not struggle with the same issue when around Bashkir Curlies. It is also interesting to note that when you mate a Bashkir Curly with a non-curly horse, there is about a fifty percent chance that the curly coat will be passed onto the offspring.

Famous Bashkir Curly Horses

Some famous Bashkir Curly horses are Copper D, Spartacus, and Johnny Come Lately. Perhaps the most important horse of these three is Copper D, who was the first stallion of Peter Damele’s herd to be used for breeding this special horse. Spartacus was a Bashkir Curly stallion who is known for siring two upper-level dressage USDF Horse of the Year winners. Johnny Come Lately is famous for being one of the first Bashkir Curly participants in the famous Rose Parade.

Is the Bashkir Curly Horse Right for You?

If you are looking for a good horse for a beginning rider, then the Bashkir Curly is a great option due to their friendly temperament and easy trainability. Depending on their bloodline, the Bashkir Curly horse can be used for just about any discipline, as different horses have the ability to perform different gaits depending on their heritage.

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How to Adopt or Buy a Bashkir Curly Horse

The Bashkir Curly horse tends to be a more expensive breed due to how rare they are, as well as the unique characteristics they contain. The more aged the horse is, the lesser the cost. Since this is a more rare breed, you may have more of a hard time finding one to purchase, with adoption appearing to be the most common and easiest way to obtain one.

Bashkir Curly Horse FAQs

How much does a Bashkir Curly horse cost?

On average, they range from $2,500 to $5,000, with some being worth up to $18,000. 

How big do Bashkir Curly horses get?

Bashkir Curlies tend to be medium size, so 14-16 hands tall.

Where do Bashkir Curly horses come from?

The Bashkir Curly horse’s origin is unkown and remains one of the biggest mysteries when it comes to horse breeds.

Are Bashkir Curly horses good for beginner riders?

Curlies are a wonderful option for beginning riders due to their sweet nature and uncanny ability to do as they are asked. 

How rare is a Bashkir Curly horse?

The Bashkir Curly breed is very rare, though their traits can sometimes be found in mixed breeds.

Are Bashkir Curly horses good for those with allergies?

Bashkir Curly horses are a good choice for those who suffer from alergies due to their hypoallergenic coat.


The Bashkir Curly horse is a very popular but rare breed. Although they are expensive, they are extremely laid-back and good for beginning riders. They are also fairly simple to maintain as there are no obvious recurring health issues associated with this breed, though frequent and quality grooming is recommended to keep their mane, tail, and coat from matting.

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